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A new Russia-China natural gas pipeline saw a major construction milestone crossed after a large tunnel on the Yangtze River was completed this weekend.
The tunnel in the river is more than 10 km (6.2 miles) long and its construction took 28 months to complete, according to PipeChina as cited by local media.
Still, it will take years for the whole huge gas pipeline from Russia to China to be completed and commissioned. Current plans are for this to happen in 2025.
So, China will have to wait a few years before being able to materially boost gas pipeline imports from Russia.
The tunnel completion is part of the east-route pipeline which will boost China’s energy supply amid rising global prices, Lin Boqiang, director of the China Center for Energy Economics Research at Xiamen University, told the Global Times on Sunday.
Russia is already sending natural gas via pipeline to China through the Power of Siberia pipeline.
The two countries have fostered close cooperation and energy ties in recent years. China is now the biggest outlet of Russian energy exports after Europe stopped importing Russian coal, imposed an EU embargo on crude oil imports by sea, and is receiving only a fraction of the Russian gas volumes compared to the volumes imported before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
China’s energy imports from Russia, including coal, oil, and natural gas, have reached $60 billion since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg reported last month, up from $35 billion in the same period of 2021.
Just last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said China was ready to work for a closer partnership with Russia in the energy sector.
“Energy cooperation is an important cornerstone of practical cooperation between China and Russia, and also a positive force for maintaining global energy security,” Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in a letter to a China-Russia Energy Business Forum.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.